I Really Don't Care Whether Things are Changing for Women in Bollywood, Says Konkona Sensharma
Konkona Sensharma, who's never truly left her independent roots, always pushes towards projects that continue to challenge her without so much as caring about box office validation.
In a career spanning over 20 years, Konkona has been a part of several critically acclaimed films such as Mr And Mrs Iyer, Omkara, Wake Up Sid, Life in a Metro, Traffic Signal, Luck by Chance, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Talvar and Lipstick Under My Burkha, among others. However, the actress revealed she stumbled onto this career path accidentally.
"I never wanted to act and I'd decided that I did not want to act. But because I was a child actor, so people would keep telling me, 'You should act.' Somehow, because of something or the other, acting happened like that. I never wanted to do those kind of roles I never related to anyway. I never grew up watching larger-than-life films. I never related to it and that's probably part of the reason why I didn't want to act because I knew the kind of films I like are hardly being made. But somehow, it so happened that I got back-to-back films," Konkona said.
The actress has made herself one of the most acclaimed actresses of this generation, thanks to her uncanny ability to get under the skin of characters as diverse as a small town woman from Benaras with money problems and predatory relatives (Laga Chunari Mein Daag), to an independent, urban woman with her own set of insecurities and dilemmas (Wake Up Sid).
Konkona Sensharma in a still from Wake Up Sid.
She's always taken on parts that are well-written and portray women more than a functionary in a male story. Notably, the past few years have witnessed relatively more, if not enough, women emerge in full force in both indie as well as commercial sphere.
But Konkona said sexism in the industry still ranks up right there.
"To be honest, I don't really know what's happening in the industry, whether it's really changing. I feel that every year, there are some films which are very interesting, progressive or sensible. But every year, the bulk of the films are not great. So now, I'm not really interested in what the trends are or whether things are changing for women. I really don't know and I really don't care. I hope they are, but people still laugh at the worst, most regressive jokes," the actress said.
Konkona, who made her directorial debut with 2016 drama A Death in the Gunj, further said she would rather prefer to focus on her own journey than analysing the ever-changing trends in the industry in terms of box office and women-centric films.
"I'm not participating in that. It's not my area of concern because this is not how I choose to see the world. It's true that it exists and it's great. It's a self-sufficient system and that's wonderful (laughs). But I have really not seen myself fitting into that thinking so I have worked in films that I found interesting. Yes, sometimes I have done roles for money and sometimes purely because they were interesting."
The actress will next be seen in Seema Pahwa's directorial debut Ram Prasad Ki Tehrvi. The film follows Ram Prasad's entire family that assembles under one roof for 13 days after he passes away, to perform and observe the Hindu traditions and rituals called the tehrvi.
In the film, Konkona plays the role of an aspiring actress, Seema, who gets married to Ram Prasad's youngest son, played by Parambrata Chattopadhyay.
Talking about the film, Konkona said, "I'm a big fan of Seema ma'am. She's a wonderful artiste and I really wanted to work with her. I was so excited that she was writing as well as directing this film. Also, it was an easy and well-written script to read. My character was also very interesting in a way with the kind of transition she goes through. I enjoy playing such characters. She is not completely good neither is she very bad. She is within the shades of grey. And, the mood of the film itself is lovely because it gives you an essence of continuity of life."
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